(an etnographic novel)
Emil Reza Maulana
Dedicated for Gadis Siput
2. After Word
3. Is Going On
I’m always thinking about that.
Although I still shame to writing this letter, and still learning English at a course, I try to be brave. That’s because Ibuku, my firstly English teacher. I though I have to tell you some history of my life. And this is the key of my life. I will tell you everything that happen and happened to me, and anything that I have ever know and knew, also all the things that I founded. And one of them is you, Gadis Siput. Yes, you are.
In a night, when I was be a patient of Yos Sudarso Hospital, I choose to walking around on the corridor. Someone just make me broken heart on this afternoon. A girl that I called Nona Teh, a girl that I find at the first time at one of hotel in this city, Padang at 2016, that is a few weeks ago. She didn’t come to look and check my condition, and she didn’t answer my last messege yet. And I’m sure that she would never to send me that.
I’m walking on the corridor. I look into the sky, the black sky of night. And I feel someone on looking to my on the back. My hind-head is bristle. For sure? Yeah! Then I go to look back at him. Him? No, no. And yes. A girl on looking into me. What the heck? Why you looking me, Girl? And I go to her. But. When I look into her face for real, I find my self as a drunken. I drunk b’coz herself. She’s smile is so nice. So warm. So pure. So faithful. Make me feel that I’m so lucky in this day.
Yes. You’re the girl.
But, to get your heart and your feelings for me, for real, maybe is too difficult.
2. After Word
At the last night.
I’m not get anytime for sleep last night, and this morning I still feel energic, so burning, gutsy. I wait for my infused water that will take with some nurse, they said that they will take these in this morning. And I’m only need to waiting, before I go to try again. Seek her condition for once more time.
“Apa nama Instagram-mu?” I ask for her name in Instagram application.
“Apa? Pokoyong? Nama Korea?” What? Pokoyong? Korean names?
“@takuyuung!!” she said, once again.
“Ohh.. Takuyung..” Then I ask her, what is the meaning of
For before, she give me smile, the sweetest smile ever. And finally she say after that, “Siput.”
That Indonesian for ‘snail’.
And then, I know you from one of my oldest friend. A girl named Nada Chaniago, someone from Kuntum Mekar Kindergarden until when I go to non-government Middle School classes at Xaverius. She’s childish and very gentleman, and little bit boyishly although she won’t cut her long hair. Maybe. But still do atitude and look like very boyishly. But she so friendly, and make anyone happy for easily at everyday. Very responsive and responsible person. Nice girl. Kind girl.. Until the end of first year, then I’m not saw her anymore. Because I change to another school at the capitol of this province. West Sumatra, 2011.
I start my serious writing project when L, the beautiful and nicest teacher in Bahasa Indonesia studies say, “Wow! Tulisanmu bagus!!” Wow! Your letter is so great!!
“Ha?” I don’t believe anything that she said.
“Benar! Apa saya terlihat seperti pembohong?” Sure! Am I look like a liar?
“Maksud saya..-” I mean..-
“Tulisanmu bagus! Dan itu sudah cukup. Kelas selesai. Kamu boleh pulang.” Your letter is great! And that’s enough. Class is over. You can go home.
“Kapan saja.” Anytime.
So I go home with my spectacular feelings. I’m so happy because she told me like that. And when I come to my home, I go to bedroom and take one paper from my notebook, and write anything what I want to read. I want read something. Like my childhood memories.
Long very very long time ago. When I still child, really really childish, I’d like to prefer to be reading, more than go around at outside of my home like another childs. I’d prefer too by drawing something and not worries about that’s will be bad drawings or that would be a good picture. I draw and draws. Then my mom come to see me, she just doing something, maybe in the kitchen or our little garden at backyard. She always said, “Bagus.”
Great. She always say that.
3. Is Going On
IF I SAY all of things that’s very potential will be sure, and surely. Real. Surely be happen to me in this middle night. Yes. That is happened. Happening when I found myself cannot sleep, again, because I’m thinking of my last day. Gadis Siput again, is she? Surely is she the troublemaker of all computers in my head? Yes? That’s happened? When you’re find you cannot sleep any bit this night? Why. Why you still thinking of her even if in the same time. While. Now. She’s maybe didn’t still staying up for this minutes. And if she yes, admittedly still awake for this time, but The Atmosphere says “Nope. Not thinking of you. Indeed.” So?
What will you do now.
IF YOU SAY that you’re a responsive person, you are adult person for should. If you’re adult person, you have to be, make, have and had responsibility to your life. Should, really? Should? Really? Yes. Should. Really. Should and really, absoutly of course. So, you don’t have to push yourself this night. You don’t go awake and it is better to take a sleep. Not only because you don’t sleep at the other chapters. At previous chapters. Any. Many. Much times you don’t any give yourself to get a rest. Okay? Go to sleep. Now.
Look at your eyes.
They are blackned.
THIS MORNING YOU AREN’T GO AWAKE. Because you’re not sleep last night. Because you aren’t sleep already yet enough. You still thinking of her. You’re curious like a lamb curry from Indian America or maybe Hindi for indeed, that lamb curry is so spicy b’coz there are many flowers trough over them. But you’re didn’t need lamb curry for now, you’re need any newest news from Gadis Siput. But your eyes is only just four watts now. You know for what your eyes is created by God, and every people in this country is knewing too. Including this planet of the earth.
So you’re sleepy. Very very totally. And you’re falling to your sleep. Okay. It’s over.
Don’t thinking anymore of your problem. All the human beings it has their problem to. The problems. A few problem or maybe a biggest problems. But they still can go to their bed and sleep. And slept. God know what you need now. It’s called ‘dreaming’. Go to
And you could find her up there.
INDONESIAN PEOPLE in almost of them says, that Japanese or Westerns is still able and still trying to make a new colonialism by some of the ways. Including of industries action of actor like Maria Ozawa or Sasha Grey in the context of pornographic content, campaign of anti-cigarrete and coconut oil—although this is story from long time ago--the best of scholarship ever like Jardine as Maudy Ayunda the one of beautiful actress that so lucky to had some numbers of local movies, scholarship to Adelaide like the first stand up comedian native superstar Raditya Dika, and some labels from Japan and America, or maybe they sometime use an idiom, “Handphone cina, nih!” for say that is bogus cellphone that made in China. And maybe that’s one reason of some native doesn’t like Chinese people as they called in another name as Orang Tionghoa.
One word for this situation and feelings: envy so envy.
Yes. Indonesian people is so really really very envy to others, including American and other people in foreign countries, although that is so far far away. And they will say, “Internet?” for their great wrinkle.
And Indonesian people is very loves in gossip, although they’re not aware if that they talk is gossip for real. They do gossip everyday. In the bus, a taxi, in taxi-motorcycle called Gojek or Grab.. . They go to a coffee shop and yes that space is very very similiar like a Starbucks or Dante Coffee Shop, they go to there just for make a newest gossip, and do a pillow talk and hasn’t different with story about their friend’s son and another friend’s daughter. They make a couple company by informal concept and fun with these although they not get any money.
An author called Pelesetupat is has ever too got a serious problem in his life. A serious problem like this. Indonesian girl calls it “Perjodohan.” And the boys said, “Percomblangan.” Although the meaning is exactly same. That’s general project with an abysmal effect of couple company. That’s when Pelesetupat go to talk with Master of Indonesian Litterature, who is his mom’s close friend named Lis. Pelesetupat said, that he interested with Aunty Lis’s daughter. Named Cinta. And Aunty Lis says that he must to prepare. What kind of prepare? He ask. And she said, Well, you can prepare what you want to prepare.
But, I change my needs when I meet with someone that’s over than just ‘meet’. Over than ‘just meet’ with Cinta. Over than anything that could be more than a lot of important very important things. She’s someone around here, and she makes me finally for finish my trash of the past. Waste. Raff. Dregs. The only things that waste my time just for them whose did not care anything of me. The story of A Girl with The Morning Dew.
Why the title should be like that? “A Girl-with-The Morning Dew.”
Why must be like that? Okay, okay. I will describe to you, why should be this choice which I have taken.
But firstly, let me introduce the last part, the reason why I take a capital letter for ‘T’ in “The Morning Dew”. Okay?
That is for the pressure to purpose of this poem;
you. Me. And love strongest stories.
The distance of us
The title poem is “The Distance is Dancing on the Mat”, it’s about the journey and bla bla bla bla—you might be prefer to construing this meanings—and that’s journey will bla bla bla bla. And, ‘A’ for “A Girl” is for describe my personal relation between me and that’s girl. With whom I get some feel like long distance relationship for indeed, for very very long distance in this atmosphere feelings.
Okay. I will tell you for more.
IN A SUNDAY MORNING I woke awake from a weird dreams to I wouldn’t that come true. That’s disgusting dreaming. But I’m not remember it anymore.. Well, yup! I still remember, but just a little bit a part. And apart of that, maybe I’m not hate that for real. For really really of hatred. Although it doesn’t mean I love these dreaming. And, yeah, I woke awake from my bed and go to the toilet and washing my face, and take a wudhu and go to Subuh. This is still a half of six morning, then I still can do praying.
Aftar that’s Subuh pray, I go to kitchen and boil a water and make a cup of tea. Then I go to guestroom, sit on sofa and drink the tea. I thought I have to check my Facebook, so I go to find my cellphone in my bedroom.
After got it, I check my cellphone.
I’ve go to school.
CURRENTLY ON THE CAR. The car of public transportation. At 7 until 9 o’clock I’m on the way to school. But. I cannot get any leeway from that’s institution. Even if that’s so boring when I just sin on the way until finish. Then I have to get back like these when the school times is over.
Someone, a girl whose pretty so nicest face, look up to my head.
ST12 BAND’S SONG ON MY HEADPHONE. I hear everytime. After I met the girl that I named Puella Roris, the Latin of “the girl from the mist of sea”. I talk with her without know her name. I forgot to ask that, I’m so enjoying our conversation.
Conversations. I don’t remember if I talk about Converse stylish creamy jacket which so mild and look so soft. I just remember that I flirt or, maybe, a half of flirt to her. But. Maybe I’m not flirt. Even I’m not a man like that’s type. No. That’s not my character. Okay. Okay! I look into her eyes and just gave my smile in that’s my sweetest moment in my lifetime. My own lifetimes.
Aku yang terlelap sendiri
Terlelap sampai tak sadar diri
Kulihat sang pujaan hati
Datang melangkah, terus menghampiri
I’m the one who sleep alone
Sleep until didn’t know anything
I saw my admire
She walk to me, and meet
So, yes. After I met her, I remember of that’s music on the public transportation. ST12 Band. The title is “Putri Iklan”. The Princess of Reclame.
“Pagi..” said Puella Roris.
“Kamu pelajar di SMA Don Bosco, ya?” You’re student at Don Bosco High School, right?
The Indonesian ‘High School’ is ‘SMA’, Sekolah Menengah Atas. This is the difference of Western People with Indonesian People. Our perspective of studies is, if someone go until High School, he just only High School student. But if he goes to some university, that will be University. University Student, with capital letters. To give totally pressure. Otority. Authority. Neo-Colonialism.
Yup! They have didn’t know anything about this colonialism that they have ever talked. All of Indonesian People thought, they are in colonized by Western or Japanese. But they didn’t know anything for real, of the reality totally in fact. That’s actually.
“YES. I’M STUDENT FROM DON BOSCO..” she said. Then we talk about that and this, that and this. We talk about everything, and laugh at every time. She’s so beautiful and totally my type. I haven’t ever meet anyone like her. She is different. Totally my type, totally different. Divergent. Girl. Sweet.. . I cannot hold her, but also cannot leave her. I want we talking forever.
“You’re university student?” she ask.
“No.” I said. She must be look at my appearance. My half-long hair, my casual outfits.. . My old face? Maybe not. I hope not. I won’t be just friend of her. I want to be her boyfriend. Oh my God, why I’m so possesif like this? Is this love that they, the people, said?
Puella Roris might be doesn’t sure of my answer. She’s still thinking of my school. Or my job. Until I give she an answer from the mainstream opinion, or the believe is dead for me. In the after, she won’t talk anymore.
I want to be her boyfriend, but I’m still thinking this is a girly magic or something like that.
Maybe she’s witch.
“YES. I’M STUDENT FROM DON BOSCO. SO WHAT?” if she say like that, and of course she can. She able to say like that. To me. With eyes and feelings like a coldest era, from long ago, so far times away. “So what? You like me? Sorry, I can’t and I wont with you.”
“But..” before I’m finish my say, she push herself, “Sorry. I cannot.. Please, don’t push me. I don’t like you.”
This is chest, my chest, like after smack by Superman or Batman, or whatever. She is totally strong and enough to make my death. But I’m still like her, whatever she is. My feel so pure, faith, and warm. Still burn my heart to unfinishing my feeling forever.
But, in the fact, I didn’t have talk anything with her.
I don’t know her name, don’t know her school. It’s just my stupid imagination.
“Boleh pinjam charger hape?” She ask to lend my cellphone charger.
“Boleh. Tapi ada syaratnya.”
“What?” she said with her lazy eyes.
“Jadilah pacarku.” Be my girlfriend.
“What? Harus, ya?”
“Kita kan terpilih.”
“Iya, aku milih kamu buat jadi pacar..”
“Terus?” And then?
“Kamu milih aku buat pinjam charger!”
I like when the sky is cloudy. And I make a band, like all people young anyone else. I make: Clouders—and am the keyboardist on this part.
I read so many books for make all new songs. Like this;
Instchu Tschuna mati dalam nafas besar
Nafas yang dihembuskan pada langit dan bumi
Bulu yang digenggamnya adalah tanda
Bagi yang buruk rupa dan roh jahat
Siaplah yang menggenggam bulu itu
Untuk pulang pagi dan datang malam
But. It’s never done.
THE AFTER WORD IS GOING ON. I be one of nomination of literatute competition from Dewan Kesenian Jakarta. I wrote so much, said My Dad. I stay on his home when I try to finish my script. You awake until 3 morning, said him again. When I still try to write.
I go to Jakarta with some flight, and meet anyone? Maybe.
Maybe I will meet Linda Christanty, my mom’s favorite writer. And Seno Gumira Ajidarma, my master. Everyone master if they write about twillight. Sepotong Senja untuk Pacarku is the best writtings of himself.
I ask to Linda Christanty to take a photo with me by my phone, and send to my mom.
I’m only just to wait for whom the 1st finding.
“Cemburu?” Envy? I said, in the line. She in West Sumatra now.
“Ciee.. Ada rasa cemburu juga akhirnya..” Ciee.. There’re feeling envy too for finally.. I said, once again.
No! she said, but. And I know she’s pretending like other girls that in situation feelings like these. I’m not envy. She said, Why I can be envy with absurdly just because a man that totally absurd? That’s first time she so rude, crude and harsh when she talk to me. Answer my question. Answer my question for exactly, Gadis Siput! Said me in my reason, in the depth of chimera.. . But that’s just only a ‘chimera’, how I could be seriously with my only one mind?
But. That’s just only long time ago.
Me and Deka isn’t on relationship anymore. She go, I go. And everything in the past is just only the past. But I have to thankful for the memories, Deka the Gadis Siput. Even if I don’t know anything about her feelings up me on this time right now.
Now, I’m still waiting for the plane in International Airport of Minangkabau at Padang. With my dad whose so antusiastic for this literature ceremony. Dewan Kesenian Jakarta final competition.
I wont invite my mom, because she never invite me to go to abroad.
“You have to go alone.” Said my mom.
And when she go abroad to Brisbane, just only one Indonesian up there, that I start to not respect her anymore. Because she always say for together forever to me. And I’m not respect her anymore. So I invite my dad to go with my to that ceremony of Dewan Kesenian Jakarta.
So, I just tell to my mom that’s my own reason.
And she say, “Al right. We have same idea.”
Although I knew “that” for sure.
That’s raining outside.
I go to Bukittinggi on the evening, before I go to International Minangkabau Airport with my father. I bought some clothes and pants in a textile shop. A sweater with a hoody, and something like that. Just for that’s ceremony? Yups, that’s right for totally.
It’s been a couple of months, since I go with my father and meet many famoust person in Taman Ismail Marzuki. And I’m lose as literature competition, no more, I just only get a nominate.
“Kau tidak kalah,” my father said, You’re not lose.
Yes, and of course I quit from literature. I said.
We spent this area for eight years. It started from A Girl with The Morning Dew. And I won’t get a lost anymore. So I bought some cigarettes, Marlboro Black, and John Allyn’s book, 47 Ronin. An orientalism writtings.
I meet Sabda Armandio too when I arrived in Taman Ismail Marzuki. And I meet my friends too, from Komunitas Seni Nan Tumpah, a community of performance arts. Atma and Karta. The man who’s professional with their basic.
SO I AND MY DAD GO BACK TO WEST SUMATRA, after lunch at warung tegal, I eat buffalo skin with rice. My dad tell me that I’m not lose, for a couple of times. In the air plane, I ask a waiter for give me their magazine. I drink a cup of coffee in the morning, one day before go back for sure.
A cup of coffee. It’s reminds me with Kak Guru, my sufism master on Dawoodya. She writes a lot of article in her Facebook. It might be I falling in love with her. But I still adoubting with my shadow relationship with Deka, the Gadis Siput
The Snail Girl.